The wheels of our plane just left the ground and I'm still relishing in the culture and vitality of Montreal. This second annual trip has proven to be even better than the first. We averaged eight-to-ten miles a day of walking, that helped burn off at least some of the calories from all of that great French cuisine.
This year my friend @luckyfellow and I ventured further away from our home base of the Old Port region of the city and our comfort zones. We visited the Jean-Talon Market, Mount Royal Park, the Ukrainian Festival among others.
We also became a little better at speaking basic phrases in French. Last year shopkeepers in Montreal would answer our greeting in English, this year most responded in French. I take this as a good sign. I noticed on our last day of the trip that I was even starting to be able to read the language for the first time. My goal for next year’s trip is to be able to hold a conversation.
These past four days have only stoked the embers of my wanderlust. I’ve had a big, and slightly crazy, idea involving travel for a few months now. This idea keeps gets bigger and is pushing its way to the forefront of my mind little more each day so I know it's meant to be. Although these plans are, realistically, a few years away the groundwork is being laid now. More on that to come.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain
To me, travel is the best education one could expect to receive. The value you extract from a trip done right is far more than the price it costs to take. Following is a list of a few reasons why I feel this way:
1.) Frees You From Routine
Fight the urge to try to reconstruct your daily routine in the destinations you’re visiting. The familiarity of your normal daily cycles of can bring a certain level of comfort but try to mix things up when you’re on the road. It can even be as simple as ditching your morning drip coffee for the preferred caffeine delivery system of the locals like a cappuccino or espresso, or taking a long soak in a tub instead of taking your normal shower.
2.) Forces You to Relinquish Your Need for Control
Most humans feel have this innate desire to control as many aspects of their existence as they can. This instinct served our ancestors well when they were being hunted by hungry predators but it doesn’t always serve our best interest in modern society. While traveling much of your experience is completely out of your control, especially if you’re flying or traveling by rail. Your experience is largely in the hands of the TSA, the airline staff, and the weather. This can be a potent reminder that life can become much better if we take things as they come. Travel will open you up if you let it.
3.) Pushes You From Your Comfort Zone
The further you venture from your comfort zone the better and more memorable a trip will become. Try engaging with strangers a little more than you normally would at home. Ask a local what their favorite restaurant or local attraction is. You'll be surprised at how much this will enhance your experience.
4.) Makes You Less Gullible
It’s a shame that fifty-eight percent of US citizens don’t hold a passport. If more of us traveled abroad we would be much less susceptible to propaganda and brainwashing. Once you venture beyond the borders of your own country it’s quick to see that the world isn’t nearly as scary of a place as the media paints it to be. Humanity is really one big family that is mostly good in nature, with the same wishes and goals...travel quickly wakes you up to this fact.
5.) Allows You to Become Better at Saying Goodbye
When you’re in a new place and free from your regular day-to-day responsibilities everything seems five times better. As a result, after the jet lag subsides, most people are happier, more open, and often more approachable. This makes for a better life experience in general. Our senses are alive and food tastes better, destinations seem more interesting. I’ve daydreamed about moving to nearly every overseas country I’ve visited and used to feel melancholy for days after I left. The more you travel the more experienced you become at keeping these feelings in perspective. Now it's much easier for me to just be thankful for the trip, and jump right back into my work routine so I can soon have another trip to look forward to.
I hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventures in Montreal (Note: I was a bit overzealous with the camera so the music stops long before the pictures do. )
As I sit on the flight back home to the US from Montreal I’m thinking about how lucky I am to be able to do this. I’ll be forever grateful for the freedom that Steemit has offered me. Even during the worst of the cryptocurrency bear markets and SEC-induced FUD I know that eventually there is only one way for this market to move and that is UP.
That’s all for now. I have to go plan my next trip.
Thanks for reading,
*I am an American novelist, poet, traveler, and crypto-enthusiast. If you’ve enjoyed my work please sign up for my author newsletter at my website. Newsletter subscribers will receive exclusive updates and special offers and your information will never be sold or shared.
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